Riverview Trust Co trimmed its stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 6.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 1,938 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 141 shares during the quarter. Riverview Trust Co’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $275,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in DRI. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 26.1% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 329,285 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $39,224,000 after acquiring an additional 68,258 shares during the period. Truist Financial Corp increased its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 40.8% in the fourth quarter. Truist Financial Corp now owns 78,293 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $9,326,000 after purchasing an additional 22,675 shares during the period. Rothschild Investment Corp IL raised its holdings in shares of Darden Restaurants by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 4,850 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $578,000 after buying an additional 560 shares during the last quarter. Conning Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $234,000. Finally, Boston Partners grew its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 768,899 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $91,591,000 after buying an additional 10,498 shares in the last quarter. 89.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other Darden Restaurants news, COO Ricardo Cardenas sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.04, for a total value of $176,448.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 48,169 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,082,769.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Eugene I. Lee, Jr. sold 78,957 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $132.03, for a total transaction of $10,424,692.71. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 307,664 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $40,620,877.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 134,424 shares of company stock worth $18,249,880. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, March 24th. The restaurant operator reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.29. Darden Restaurants had a positive return on equity of 10.47% and a negative net margin of 1.70%. The company had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.90 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 3.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Darden Restaurants declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, March 25th that permits the company to repurchase $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 2.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 9th will be given a dividend of $0.88 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 8th. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.48%. Darden Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 112.46%.
DRI has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. UBS Group boosted their price target on Darden Restaurants from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 1st. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research report on Sunday, February 21st. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 24th. Truist upped their price target on shares of Darden Restaurants from $150.00 to $158.00 in a research note on Friday, March 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer raised their price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants from $140.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, March 22nd. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Darden Restaurants currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $140.48.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 31, 2020, it owned and operated approximately 1,804 restaurants, which included 868 under the Olive Garden, 522 under the LongHorn Steakhouse, 165 under the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, 81 under the Yard House, 60 under The Capital Grille, 44 under the Seasons 52, 41 under the Bahama Breeze, and 23 under the Eddie V's Prime Seafood brands.
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